Now Jo, Michelle and Christe had originally set out for the Sunshine State on May 26, 1989. It was the first time the Rogers women had ever taken a vacation together as a trio. But, as it happens, they weren’t just having a break from the drudgery of the farm; they were escaping from an awful situation. In fact, the family had been under serious strain ever since it had emerged that John – who lived next to the Rogers’ house in a trailer – had been sexually abusing Michelle since she was 14.
At first, then, John Rogers may have seemed like a plausible suspect in the murders of his female relatives. He had been safely behind bars at the time that the three women had taken off, however, having pleaded no contest in court to rape charges relating to another woman. And after homicide detectives had interviewed John in prison, they concluded that he was too much of a jailhouse loner to have arranged the crime while locked up.